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Davis, GE, Baumgartner MF, Bonnell JM, Bell J, Berchok C, Thornton JB, Brault S, Buchanan G, Charif RA, Cholewiak D, Clark CW, Corkeron P, Delarue J, Dudzinski K, Hatch L, Hildebrand J, Hodge L, Klinck H, Kraus S, Martin B, Mellinger DK, Moors-Murphy H, Nieukirk S, Nowacek DP, Parks S, Read AJ, Rice AN, Risch D, Sirovic A, Soldevilla M, Stafford K, Stanistreet JE, Summers E, Todd S, Warde A, Van Parijs SM.  2017.  Long-term passive acoustic recordings track the changing distribution of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) from 2004 to 2014. Scientific Reports. 7   10.1038/s41598-017-13359-3   AbstractWebsite

Given new distribution patterns of the endangered North Atlantic right whale (NARW; Eubalaena glacialis) population in recent years, an improved understanding of spatio-temporal movements are imperative for the conservation of this species. While so far visual data have provided most information on NARW movements, passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) was used in this study in order to better capture year-round NARW presence. This project used PAM data from 2004 to 2014 collected by 19 organizations throughout the western North Atlantic Ocean. Overall, data from 324 recorders (35,600 days) were processed and analyzed using a classification and detection system. Results highlight almost year-round habitat use of the western North Atlantic Ocean, with a decrease in detections in waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina in summer and fall. Data collected post 2010 showed an increased NARW presence in the mid-Atlantic region and a simultaneous decrease in the northern Gulf of Maine. In addition, NARWs were widely distributed across most regions throughout winter months. This study demonstrates that a large-scale analysis of PAM data provides significant value to understanding and tracking shifts in large whale movements over long time scales.

Širović, A.  2016.  Variability in the performance of the spectrogram correlation detector for North-east Pacific blue whale calls. Bioacoustics-the International Journal of Animal Sound and Its Recording. 25:145-160.   10.1080/09524622.2015.1124248   AbstractWebsite

Spectrogram correlation has been used successfully for automatic detection of baleen whale calls. However, applying this method consistently to long time series can be challenging. To illustrate the potential challenges of the automatic detection process, recordings collected in the Southern California Bight between 2007 and 2012 were used for detection of North-east Pacific blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) B calls. The effects of the following factors were investigated: blue whale B call frequency shift and appropriate kernel modification, seasonal variability in call abundance, analyst variability and noise. Due to intra- and inter-annual changes in the call frequency of blue whale B calls, seasonal and annual adjustments to the call detection kernel were needed. To account for seasonal variability in call production, evaluation of the detector against ground truth data was performed at multiple times during the year. Analyst variability did not affect overall long-term trends in detection, but it had an impact on the total number of detections, as well as call rate estimation. Noise, particularly from shipping, was negatively correlated with detections at hourly time scales. A detailed analysis of variability in the performance of spectrogram correlation detectors should be performed when applying this method to long-term acoustic data-sets.